Portland Trail Blazers rookie guard CJ McCollum discussed the broken bone in his foot before the team's annual FanFest intrasquad scrimmage at the "Moda Center" on Sunday.
The Blazers announced Saturday that McCollum is sidelined indefinitely after breaking the fifth metatarsal in his left foot, an injury that will require surgery.
McCollum told reporters Sunday that he felt less pain with this injury than he did when he broke the same bone in the same foot earlier this year. McCollum also said that he does not yet have a date set for his surgery and he did not reveal any specifics regarding a recovery timeline.
"We were, I would say, halfway through the practice, going through a little ball screen defensive drill, live action. Coming off of a ball screen at the close sideline, I faced a hard hedge, had a hard hedge coming out. Went for the throw back pass, just natural instinct, stepped on a foot... rolled it in. Knew there was some pain there, I felt it. I've twisted my ankle worse before so didn't really know, thought it was just a little sprain. Then I walked, it's funny, I actually walked, walked to the shower, took a shower, walked to the X-ray, got the X-ray, then I just waited for the news."
Were you surprised at the X-ray results?
"I was definitely surprised. Just looking forward to the next steps, just trying to figure everything out, talking to doctors now."
"I haven't actually seen it on tape yet. I just remember the play. I'm going to watch it on film. Talk to two doctors, two outside doctors, and get their perspective on it before we make our next decision."
How disappointed are you at the injury?
"It's very disappointing. Coming in, your rookie year, being selected in the lottery, you want to come in and prove yourself, earn your stripes. I was having a good training camp, I was playing well and then you go down with an injury. At the same time I've been through obstacles before and I look forward to bouncing back."
Had you dealt with any complications since first injury?
"No. No pain, no nothing. We do testing daily, on both feet. We test our heart rates, our workload. I was one of the more even guys in terms of strength and distribution between both feet, whereas there are a lot of imbalances between other guys on the team. Things happen sometimes, it's out of your control, you just have to make the best of what you're given."
How long will you be sidelined?
"No sense at all but I look forward to returning."
"It's a tough process. Basketball is a lot easier than rehab. The best thing about it is that I've been through it before. I know what to do, what to expect. I just look forward to the challenge. It's a challenge getting to the NBA and there's going to be injuries and stuff. You can't help it sometimes, it's going to happen. You just have to bounce back and do what it takes to be successful."
Reaction when you heard X-ray results
"Tough feeling. I was just pretty distraught. You work so hard to get to this level. They say it's a less than two percent chance to make it to the NBA, you make it coming off an injury, it's tough to get hurt again, but at the same time I look at it like I'm not supposed to be here. An injury is the last thing that I'm worried about."
How long did first injury keep you sidelined?
"I'm not sure. We ended up losing early at Lehigh so I'm not sure if I would have been able to come back or not because of the situation I was in. At the same time, this is a different level, you're dealing with the best doctors, the best training staff, the best facilities, so I'm sure I'll be OK."
How did the pain this time around compare to first injury?
"It wasn't the same. When I broke my foot at Lehigh, I cried. It hurt so bad, I cried. Didn't hurt as bad this time."
Did you have a screw put into your foot?
"Yes I did have a screw inserted into the foot. The screw is still in place. The screw is perfectly fine. No, [it doesn't complicate things], no, I don't think so."
Plans during rehab
"I discussed that with coach Terry [Stotts] and some of the other coaches. I told them to treat me like the rest of the players that are healthy. I want to continue to learn, I'm going to be on the court. I take this game very seriously, in terms of taking care of my body, eating the right stuff, lifting, making sure that I'm watching film, doing all the things necessary that when I come back it's a smooth transition."
Here's the CSNNW.com video of McCollum describing his injury.
Casey Holdahl of Blazers.com has a full transcript up at his new site, Forward Center.
McCollum previously broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot back in January. His initial recovery timeline after that injury was set at 8-to-10 weeks but he did not return for the rest of the 2012-13 NCAA season. McCollum did not participate in the skills portion of the Chicago pre-draft combine in May but he went through a solo workout with the Blazers in June. He told reporters that he was fully healed prior to playing for the Blazers at the 2013 Las Vegas Summer League in July.
McCollum, 22, was taken with the No. 10 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. He averaged 21 points, 4 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 34.6 minutes over five Summer League appearances.
McCollum -- who penciled as the fourth guard on the Blazers' depth chart behind Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews and Mo Williams -- was recently interviewed on Blazers Courtside. He was regarded by his peers as one of the favorites to win the 2014 Rookie of the Year award.
If McCollum is again given an 8-to-10 week recovery timeline, his expected return date would fall in the first few weeks of December.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter